They find an “oasis of life” hidden in the depths of the ocean

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ocean oasis
This oasis is located in the Maldives. | Photo: Nekton Maldives Mission.

The Nekton Maldives Mission has revealed a new type of thriving ecosystem in the Maldives, which the researchers say has never been described before. Hence it is considered an “oasis” for life in the deep ocean.

They call this “oasis” “the capture zone” and is located 500 meters deep where the big fish congregate to feast on microscopic nektona group of organisms similar to zooplankton, although slightly larger, between 2 and 20 centimeters in size.

The micronekton It actively swims between the ocean surface and water a kilometer deep, creating a vertical wave of migration each day and night as larger fish follow to feed. However, near the sunken seamount “Satho Rahaa”, submerged volcanic ridges and fossilized carbonate reefs, which formed 60 million years ago, prevent micronekton from diving deeper than 500 meters.

By following the micronekton, the animals become trapped and become the target of large pelagic predators, including schools of tuna and sharksalong with big fish from deep water well known, such as the pointed oreo (named after the cookie) and the alfonsino, a fact for which it is considered to be a “oasis for life in the sea”.

The discovery of this oasis in the ocean allowed experts to document an immense diversity of sharks in the deep sea, explained Shafiya Naeem, Director General of Maldives Marine.

According to experts, until now, tiger sharks, six gills, sand tiger, fish dog, quelvachos, scalloped hammerhead, silky shark and the very rare bramble shark have been documented.

The Nekton Maldives Mission is the first study to systematically map the deep waters of the Maldives, a chain of 26 coral atolls southwest of Sri Lanka and India.

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